Bible Activity/Discussion

What is the Bible?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Why is the Bible so complicated to read? Who wrote the Bible? I’ve heard these questions time after time again. Some of us are too lazy to sit down and actually read and study the contents of the Bible, but we rather spend time reading unholy, lustful, over-sexual content that the Word warns about.  

The word “Bible” comes from the Greek and Latin words meaning “book”. 

The Bible is the Word of God, not mythology material. Mythology was inspired by it and not the other way around. It was written by men that were inspired by the Spirit of God and it contains 66 books that were approved by God (2 Peter 1:16). There are books of law, poetry, history, letters, gospel and prophecy. These inspired authors were kings, prophets, priests, farmers, doctors and shepherds. What diversity! 

It was written over 1,500 years ago by about 40 different authors. The Bible was the first known book to be translated and distributed in so many languages.

Although the Bible was complied and written so many years ago, it’s not to be treated as a classic for God’s Word will NEVER pass away (Matthew 24:35). The Bible tells of prophecies (all that was and yet to be fulfilled), salvation through Jesus Christ and of the coming eternal kingdom. 

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The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Proverbs 9:10

The Bible is divided into two main parts: the Old and New Testament. In the OT, we see the establishment of Israel as a nation, and we’re promised salvation through One Man. It sets the stage for the coming Messiah. In the NT, we see that promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ. 

Themes such as hope, redemption and salvation are littered throughout. God created man – and woman – and placed him in Eden, the most perfect environment. He was stress free and worry free, but it didn’t stop him from rebelling against God. Because of this great sin, the Creator had no choice but to place the world under a curse. However, God had planned to restore humanity and creation to its former glory and His beautiful plan set off a chain of events from Genesis to Revelation. Despite what many people may think, the OT was never done away with. Spending time in the Word can help us to become better fruits on branches.

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The Holy Bible is my guide to living in this cruel and corrupted world. I’ll just leave a few things I’ve learned about the Bible while reading/studying the Word:

^ I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

^ Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

^ But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

^ Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).

^ Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

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In the comment section below, mention which person you identified with the most from the Bible or your favorite book.

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Who is the Holy Spirit?

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

Zechariah 4:6 

Who or what is the Holy Spirit? Is the Spirit a personal Being? A separate entity? A part of God? To you, who or what is this Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit seems to be the least understood of God’s character. The scriptures personify the Holy Spirit at times, just as it also personifies wisdom, sin, and death. In John 16:7-15, the Holy Spirit is referred to as “He” for the Greek word for helper is a masculine noun and according to the Greek grammar rules, it requires a masculine pronoun. 

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250 years after the last of the apostles had died, the Trinity became a thing thanks to Constantinople in AD 381 thus causing division among religions. However, we know how God feels about taking away and adding to His Word (Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Revelation 22:18). When it comes to the Holy Word, we’ve been led astray by men for we’re too lazy to sit and read/study the Word on our own. Besides, God promises that we’re never alone for we have a Helper to guide us (John 14:16;26)

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 2:4

Throughout the Bible, Jesus speaks of the relationship between God the Father and Himself (Matthew 26:39; John 5:18-22). In visions of God’s throne, we read recordings of the Father and Christ being seen, but not the Holy Spirit (Daniel 7:9-14; Acts 7:55-56; Revelation 7:10). In Revelation 21, we see that “a new heaven and a new earth” is soon going to replace this corrupted earth. Verses 3 and 22 explicitly states that God and Christ will dwell with men, but there is no mention of the Holy Spirit. I believe that this is because we’ll constantly be in His presence. However, I’ll admit that I’ll have to do some more study and research in this area.

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The Holy Spirit is a gift (Acts 10:45), it can be poured out (Acts 2:17, 33) and it can be quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19). We are baptized with it (Matthew 3:11), we can partake of it (Hebrews 6:4), drink of it (John 7:37-39), and be filled with it (Ephesians 5:18). This Spirit is ONE Spirit for it’s not only the Spirit of God, but also of Christ (Romans 8:9; Philippians 1:19). This is the same Spirit that the Father imparts to true Christians through His Son the Christ (John 14:26; Titus 3:5-6) that enables them to be “partakers of the divine nature” (Peter 1:4). The Holy Spirit is represented by various symbols such as a dove (Matthew 3:16), oil (Psalm 45:7), God’s hands (Psalm 8:3) and wind (Acts 2:2). 

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The Holy Spirit is God’s active force or divine power and it shouldn’t be misunderstood. The Spirit is there to guide, teach, and comfort us. It has attributes of a Person and IS treated as a Person. I’ll just leave a few things I’ve learned about the Holy Spirit while reading/studying the Word:

^ Jesus began His ministry “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14-15).

^ We cannot gain a spiritual understanding on our own or through man; it is through God’s spirit within us that we gain spiritual wisdom and insight (John 14:26).

^ Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, the power through which the Father begot Jesus as His Son. In short, the Holy Spirit is God’s divine power (Matthew 1:20).

^ Paul wrote many books, but only in 2 Corinthians 13:14 is the Holy Spirit mentioned along with the Father and Christ.

^ The Holy Spirit is the Source behind the books of the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21) for ALL scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16).

Matthew 3:2) “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand ...

In the comment section below, leave your favorite scripture or story from the Bible about our Helper/Comforter!

COMING SOON: What is the Bible?

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Who is Jesus?

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Deuteronomy 6:4

Sit for a moment and reflect on what the words “Jesus Christ” mean to you? What emotion/s does your heart evoke when you think about Him? Are you filled with joy at the thought of His imminent return? Do you get a glimpse of God in Him?

Jesus was there. He was with God at the beginning (John 1:1-4), God loved Him before the creation of the world (John 17:24) and the New Testament reveals the God of the universe in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14). The words Jesus Christ are not a first and last name as some are led to believe; they’re actually a name and a title. The name Jesus means “the Lord saves” or “Jehovah-Savior” and Christ means “anointed one”; it was derived from the Greek word for Messiah. 

“I am the true vine

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:1;5

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Jesus willingly and humbly came to earth to be sacrificed for our sins (Philippians 2:5-8). Had it not been for Him, we wouldn’t have had a chance at salvation, and we wouldn’t have had a chance to be a part of the God family (Hebrews 2:10). When Jesus came to fulfill the prophecies that were written before His arrival here on earth, many people had no idea Who He was (John 8:53). Sadly, it is the same situation today. Many of us still have no idea Who our Savior is. 

Jesus is the preexistent Word (John 8:23), Who later became Christ, and was sent to earth by the heavenly Father (John 3:17). He came here to do the will of His Father (John 4:34) and He now sits in glory and majesty with His Father (Hebrews 8:1; 12:2). He is the Mediator between God and mankind (1 Timothy 2:5). He is the reason why we can confidently approach God’s throne (Hebrews 4:14-16). He is the Son of Man (Matthew 16:13) and the Son of God (Matthew 16:16) and through Him, we can understand God for He reflects the Father (John 14:9; Hebrews 1:2-3).

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I love talking about our Savior at any opportunity that presents itself. I’ll just leave a few things I’ve learned about Christ while reading/studying the Word:

^ Jesus is THE ONLY means in which mankind can approach the Father (John 14:6).

^ He is Eternal Truth and the Source of eternal life (John 6:50-51; 11:25-26).

^ Jesus not only died for our sins, so we could be reconciled to the Father, but He is our Creator given that “all things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16).

^ Jesus was sent to earth by the heavenly Father (John 3:16-17; 34).

^ He is returning as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! (Revelation 19:16). Revelation 20:4-6 paints a clear picture of what the first 1,000 years reign with Christ looks like, but His reign will continue even past the Millennium as it’s a forever one (Isaiah 9:6-7). If you haven’t repented as yet, now is the time to do so for God doesn’t want you to be left out of His family.

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In the comment section below, leave your favorite scripture or story from the Bible about our awesome amazing Creator!

COMING SOON: Who is the Holy Spirit?

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Who is God?

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Deuteronomy 6:4

Lisa: There is only one God.

Joe: Huh? But the Bible says that God is three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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When I was little, I couldn’t comprehend the nature of God until I started to read the Bible the book in which God reveals Himself to us. The number one is very important when talking about God’s oneness (1 Corinthians 8:6). Just as there’s one human race, the Bible teaches that there is only one God (John 10:30).

Throughout the scriptures, we’ve seen God appear in the form of attributes. We’ve read about Him rescuing His people from bondage and famines. We’ve read about His awesome indescribable love for us, sending Angels to guide, and providing the ULTIMATE sacrifice for our sins. Yet, we come away without fully understanding God. He is the great “I AM” and this scripture sums up His all-mighty and powerful nature:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

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Here’s the thing I gathered from this scripture: There is a reason why God’s ways and thoughts are HIGHER than ours. We’re puny unworthy mortals compared to Him and if we could get on the same level as our Creator, then we’ll make ourselves equal to Him, and He wouldn’t be worth worshiping. A few years ago, a friend posed the question: Wouldn’t you like to know EVERYTHING? Back then, my simple reply was no, hers was yes, and she veered into so many reasons why. Now, I am able to say that I don’t have to comprehend everything, just enough of what God wants me to know.

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Our job isn’t to fully understand God, but to trust Him and to know Him and it’s not impossible to get to know Him. I don’t like discussing topics as these, for we tend to downsize God to our limitations. So don’t take my word for it. If you want to discover the true God, crack open the Bible and get to know Him for He reveals Himself in the Holy Scriptures.

I’ll just leave a few things I’ve learned about God while reading/studying the Word:

^ God is the Creator of the universe and all that is in it; He’s not just “some deity” that created the world for fun for He put a lot of detail into it (Genesis 1).

^ Although powerfully great, He is very much approachable (Hebrews 4:16).

^ God is the very essence of love (1 John 4:8; 19-21).

^ God will ultimately hold us accountable for He knows EXACTLY what we do (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

^ It is better to fear God rather than man (Matthew 10:28).

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Matthew 3:2) “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand ...

In the comment section below, leave your favorite scripture or story from the Bible about our awesome amazing Creator!

COMING SOON: Who is Jesus Christ?

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Bible’s Most Asked Questions #5: But who created God?

In the beginning, there was NOTHING to see, hear, smell or even feel. It was only emptiness and darkness. But God was there, and He had a great plan: to create something out of nothingness. He spoke the world into existence and everything He made was declared good. He saved the best for last: people. We were to be His children and the world our perfect home. 

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God is the Creator of so much beauty in the world including you and me. This can make us stop to wonder: But who created the Creator? I’ve heard this question time after time, sometimes innocently asked by a child. Did God create Himself? How did He come into existence? Do you know the answer? Let’s consult His Word.

God is eternal meaning that He has always existed. He inhabits eternity and the Bible stresses on His eternal Being (Deuteronomy 33:27; Isaiah 57:15; 1 Timothy 1:17).

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Scriptures show that God did not come from anywhere (John 1:1). He was not created for He has no beginning and will have no end. He is the great “I AM”. Before the universe was breathed into existence, He existed for He is not restricted to time as we are. 

“In the beginning…” is also when time began. There was no time before time was created and because God is timeless/eternal, this task was achieved. Before creation, there was God, and He was always existing in eternity for He was not created. He did not create Himself for He is eternal. For the world to be created, God had to already exist in order to bring forth this action. Had He never existed, He wouldn’t have been capable to create anything, therefore, God did not create Himself.

He is uncreated, He simply exists, and will continue to exist for He is eternal. 

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Bible Activity/Discussion, Origins

Did three wise men really visit Jesus?

The birth of Christ is wrapped up in folklore and tradition (man’s) and marketed to the world as Christmas. The nativity scene takes the center of attention in window displays, schools and offices, often misleading believers.

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The Nativity Scene Origin

The first nativity scene was created in 1223 in Greccio, central Italy by Saint Francis of Assisi. It is said to represent the true “spirit” of Christmas. However, many depictions of Jesus’s birth are filled with inaccuracies and it conflicts with the true Biblical account. We often see the little family, three wise men, sometimes a shepherd or two, a few animals, huddled around a newborn, the scene illuminated by the light of a lone star. Pretty wonderful and harmonic, right? But this is most unlikely.

Why can’t we be satisfied with the Biblical account? The true account?

The visiting Wise Men 

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The wise men came from the east to see the infant after following a star (Matthew 2:2). Magi or wise men originally referred to a class of priests from Persia. They were said to be students of astrology, hence why they noticed the strange star, to begin with, and followed it.

It’s unclear how many wise men were there as the Bible doesn’t speculate, but because they brought three gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11) –  it’s assumed that it was three wise men. It could’ve been two wise men bringing those gifts. It could’ve been as much as five, six or even ten wise men.

Manger or house?

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We’re told that the wise men visited Jesus in the stable while He was in a manger. Luke 2:8-20 shows that the shepherds who were watching over their flock in the field by night were given the news of Jesus’s birth by angels and they visited Jesus as He lay in a manger. It’s most likely that they saw the newborn Savoir before the Magi. And it’s no coincidence that the angels broke the news to the shepherds first, for it foreshadowed Christ as the good Shepherd.

In Matthew 2:11, by the time the wise men arrive, Mary and Joseph are not in a stable, but in a house. It’s likely that it took the wise men, days, months or even a few years to arrive on the scene.

The gifts the Wise Men brought.

The Magi brought three significant gifts that bore spiritual meanings. 

Gold recognizes Jesus as the King of Kings and the great High Priest. The Magi acknowledged that they were in the presence of a King. Gold was highly valued by kings as we see with Solomon in 2 Chronicles 9:20. Gold was also woven into the fabric of the high priest (Exodus 28). 

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Frankincense recognizes Him as the perfect Lamb sacrifice and it has a wonderful fragrance. It was used for making incense (Exodus 30:34), was an ingredient in sacrifices (Leviticus 2:1-2) and it was also an ingredient in perfumes (Song of Solomon 3:6; 4:14).

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Myrrh recognizes His death and resurrection. It was first mentioned in Genesis 37:25 where it was carried by camels in a caravan. It was used for burial embalming (John 19:39), as an ingredient in anointing oil (Exodus 30:23-25) and as a perfume (Song of Solomon 1:13; 3:6; 4:6, 14; 5:1, 5, 13). It was also used in Jesus’ burial (John 19:39).

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The frankincense and myrrh trees are cut and bruised to bleed out the resin to use for healing, perfumes, incense, and anointing. Do you see the spiritual symbolism when it comes to Christ, Who suffered and shed His blood for humanity? By His stripes, we’re healed!

In conclusion

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Matthew is the only Gospel writer that mentions the wise men visiting Christ after His birth. The account states that after Jesus’s birth, the wise men visit King Herod to inquire about Jesus’s actual location. However, Herod doesn’t have a clue though he’s troubled, and seeks the services of the wise men to locate the newborn Savior under the guise of wanting to worship Him. After leaving Jerusalem, the wise men see a star, follow it, and comes to worship the King of Kings in a house and not in a stable.

The Magi read and believed God’s Word, they sought Jesus, recognized His worth, and humbled themselves before Him in worship. We should come into God’s house with such reverence when we’re in His presence.

This is the account that is given in Matthew 2:1-12. The Bible doesn’t mention how many Magi (even if there was really 3) so we shouldn’t take away or add to the Word.

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Walking alongside our Guide 👣

the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121:8

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As a Guide, God leads us down paths that we’ll never envision; not even in our wildest dream! The walk down the path was not promised to be an easy one, but once we trust God, He’ll watch over us as we continue to walk alongside Him. 

Bible Activity/Discussion

Jesus and Joseph: the similarities

Genesis 37:23 New International Version (NIV)

So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing

Matthew 27:28 New International Version (NIV)

They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,

Many characters in the Old Testament foreshadowed the life of our Savior, but perhaps no one foreshadowed the life of Christ more than Joseph. His faith was remarkable and a shining example for all of us. While rereading Genesis, I enjoyed discovering the similarities between him and our Savior. Did you notice any similarities? If so, how many?

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Activity

Joseph was a type of Christ. It’s no coincidence that Jesus’s earthly father was also called Joseph. I’ll share a few similarities I discovered while studying the life of Joseph:

💙 Joseph was a shepherd; Jesus is the Good Shepherd. 

💙 Joseph was loved by his father more than his other brothers (Gen 37:3) and Jesus is the beloved of His Father (Matt. 3:17).

💙 Joseph was mocked and called a dreamer (Gen 37:19) just as Jesus was called beside Himself (Mark 3:21).

💙 Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver and stripped of his coat; Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver and stripped of his clothing. 

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💙 Both were tempted severely but did not sin.  

💙 They associated with two criminals: one is pardoned, the other is not.

💙 Both were 30 years old when they began their life’s work. 

💙 Both blessed the world with bread and became the only source of bread for the world. 

💙 Joseph recognized his brethren although they didn’t know him when they first came into Egypt to purchase provisions. After Jesus was resurrected, His brethren didn’t recognize Him, but He knew them.

💙 Joseph prepared a place for his family and received them into it; Jesus has prepared a place for us in His coming kingdom.

Joseph and Jesus were falsely accused, were great counselors, provided for all in need, and were men of strong faith.

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There are MANY other similarities! How many can you find? You can do them during your Bible Study period or you can feel free to share them below in the comment section.

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Our walk with God is not the same path 👣

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

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Never envy another person’s walk with God. He has called us to do different, but wonderful things in His Name and we should always be focused on our walk with Him to bring honor and glory to His Name always.